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Grieving dad backs calls for huge fines for social media companies over harmful content

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Ian Russell told MPs and peers that campaigners have “frustratingly limited success” as he urged the internet ­companies to be proactive. He was speaking to the joint parliamentary committee examining the online safety bill. Mr Russell’s daughter Molly, 14, took her life in 2017 after viewing posts about suicide and self-harm. Every child is potentially in danger every time they go online, he said.

He said: “Companies should live up to their words about taking online safety seriously and make ­platforms safer.”

The campaigner backed calls for criminal liability for executives of social media companies. The draft bill gives Ofcom powers to hit companies which do not protect users from harmful content with fines of up to £18million, or 10 percent of annual global turnover – whichever is bigger.

Izzy Wick, of 5Rights, which campaigns to protect children online, said it was “astonishing” how quickly copyright breaches disappear from ­­online platforms, in contrast.



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